Dorset Mind Ambassador, Calvin Billington-Glen has this last week enjoyed “the best day of his life”. Calvin was a finalist in the BBC Radio One Teen Awards.
Calvin was nominated for his commitment to raising funds and most importantly awareness for mental health.
Calvin has Asperger’s syndrome and, in the past, has suffered with severe anxiety, clinical depression and psychosis. He has generously spoken about his personal experience at several events in a bid to raise awareness and reduce the stigma relating to speaking out about mental health. He is also an enthusiastic and talented singer/songwriter. He has performed at more than 200 charity and community events and last Christmas released a single in aid of Dorset Mind.
The Teen Awards
In recognition of this incredible commitment Calvin was invited to meet HRH Prince Harry and HRH Prince William the Duke of Cambridge at Kensington Palace along with the other finalists. After meeting the Princes Calvin said “the shock is still sinking in, it really inspires me to carry on with the work I am doing.
I really want to go out there and do more: Keep campaigning, keep talking, keep doing speeches. Prince Harry said himself this is not the end , it’s just the beginning.” Perhaps more exciting for Calvin was Rita Ora’s presence, a personal highlight for Calvin was when “Rita was concerned her hair was getting wet so I offered her my umbrella”.
Calvin was also a guest at the BBC Teen Awards at Wembley on Sunday where he saw Rita Ora, Camila Cobello, The Vamps, Dua Lipa and Liam Payne perform.
Marianne Storey, CEO at Dorset Mind, said “We are so immensely proud of everything Calvin has achieved and are lucky to have him and in fact his mother Marie, who is also a key volunteer, on board.
Mental health support for children is desperately under resourced with on average 3 children in every class suffering from a mental health problem.
Dorset Mind, with support from local Rotary clubs, have embarked on a large fundraising effort to change that for schools and families in Dorset. Calvin is playing a key role in getting that message out there.”
Dr Andrew Mayers, Principal Academic at Bournemouth University and Patron for Dorset Mind said “I have worked with Calvin on many projects. He never ceases to impress and inspire me.
Calvin is a shining example to other young people to not let mental illness and other diagnoses define you. He has been through so much, and yet uses that experience to motivate others.
At Dorset Mind we are proud of all of our young ambassadors. Young people’s mental health is one of our key priorities; Calvin helps us raise awareness and give hope to others.”
Our plans for young people…
Dorset Mind Trustees believe that the emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health and that good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Because of this view, and the startling evidence that describes such an alarming and growing problem for young people, Dorset Mind Trustees have agreed that Dorset Mind will do three things.
It will work with schools to normalise conversations about emotions and mental health. These activities will explain emotions, explain when emotions can develop into mental health problems and convey the message that it is ok to talk about emotions and mental health.
It will expand its education programmes within schools and other places that young people spend time. These activities will teach pupils about mental health and how to stay mentally healthy, they will educate young people about how to spot a mental health problem. And they will teach them about how to start a conversation and seek help if problems arise.
This campaign will be called ‘Dorset Mind Your Head’ and Dorset Mind are looking for corporate partners to sponsor the programme and for fundraising opportunities.